Sea grapes

Sea grapes - a real delicacy, which is often called "green caviar". This seaweed belongs to the caulerpa genus, but gourmets know it under the Japanese name umi budo.

Sea grapes won fame in Europe relatively recently. This is not surprising, considering the fact that budi grows only in Japan, in coastal waters near the island of Okinawa.

On the stele that stands by the sea at the entrance to the village of Ogimi in northern Okinawa, the inscription is carved: "When you are seventy years old, you are still a child. At eighty you are a young man. If, when you are ninety, your ancestors will call you so that they wait until you are a hundred years old, but even then you will think about it before you agree. "

The saying is rather strange, if you do not know that the people of Okinawa are famous for their colossal longevity. Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart attacks and strokes, which people in Europe are suffering from in their old age, are not annoying the local population. According to statistics, per 100 thousand people in Okinawa, there are more than sixty people who celebrated the centenary anniversary. For comparison, in the US, this figure is 23 people. Residents of Okinawa assure that it is they who owe budo to their incredible longevity. According to the Japanese, the presence in the diet of this seaweed helps them even in old age to keep their sanity and physical vitality.

General characteristics

Its name "sea grapes" is obliged to a very peculiar appearance. Algae really resembles a bunch of grapes in miniature. Less romantic-minded gourmets see a certain resemblance to the branches, on which frog caviar was plentifully set aside.

Outwardly, the budi-like mind resembles thin metal shavings with sprigs. They are distinguished by a very fresh, slightly salty, pleasant taste and burst in the mouth like real caviar.

This alga is quite fastidious, it grows exclusively in warm and perfectly clean water. Therefore, off the coast of Okinawa, real plantations spread out in shallow water, which local people use to grow delicacies. Planted by hand, and the harvest begins in two months.

In Europe, the minds of budo are delivered by air, in special containers with sea water. This alga does not tolerate low temperatures, and therefore a refrigerator cannot be used to transport it. At the same time, which is remarkable, in the Asian markets, sea grapes are quite cheap, and in restaurants in Europe and the USA the price of dishes from it is literally off the scale.

Algae reach a length of two to five meters and grow, clinging to the reefs, rocks or sand irregularities at the bottom. The color of umi budo varies from golden green to olive and turquoise.

As noted above, budo belongs to the kawlerpa genus, whose representatives are found exclusively in tropical and subtropical waters.

Unlike most algae, it is quite soft, and therefore the "grapes" do not need additional processing.

Although Japan is considered the world center for the cultivation of budi, sea grapes are also growing in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, found in Madagascar, off the coast of South Africa, Tanzania, and Papua New Guinea. Its habitat are small lagoons, coral reefs. Algae does not survive in fresh water.

Composition and calorie

Sea grapes owe their incredible popularity among gourmets and healthy lifestyle lovers to their absolutely incredible chemical composition, due to which the alga is a real source of useful substances. At the same time per 100 g of the product accounts for only 0.4 g of fat, 1.5 g of protein and 4.8 g of carbohydrates.

Chemical composition: vitamins (per 100 g of product)
Vitamin A10 mcg
Vitamin E0.2 mg
Vitamin K35 mcg
Vitamin B20.01 mg
Folate4 mcg
Biotin0.1 mcg

As you can see, the vitamin composition looks very impressive. Vitamin A stimulates the production of collagen in our body, which helps maintain skin elasticity and is responsible for cell regeneration. It is also considered an effective antioxidant. Vitamin E is involved in the synthesis of hormones, has a positive effect on vascular tone, increasing their elasticity, and is also one of the most effective means for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin K contributes to the detoxification of the body, neutralizing the action of toxic substances.

Biotin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, participating in the synthesis of glycogen - carbohydrates that accumulate in the muscle tissue and liver.

In addition, it normalizes the sebaceous glands of the scalp. Finally, folate is responsible for the health of the reproductive system and helps fight anemia.

Chemical composition: micro and macronutrients
Sodium330 mg
Potassium39 mg
Calcium34 mg
Magnesium51 mg
Phosphorus10 mg
Iron0.8 mg
Copper0.01 mg
Manganese0.08 mg
Iodine80 mcg

Sodium grape present in the chemical composition of sea grapes normalizes the activity of the nervous system and helps maintain the acid-base balance in the body. Also, in conjunction with potassium, it provides water-salt balance, which is directly related to the activity of the heart muscle.

Phosphorus - an element that is responsible for the normal state of the dental and bone tissue, is involved in maintaining the activity of the nervous system, supports the kidneys.

The lack of iron in the body is manifested by persistent fatigue, weakness, a sharp decrease in immunity - a person as a magnet attracts ARVI and ORZ. In addition, iron is responsible for the condition of hair and nails.

Copper effectively fights depressive states, helps to normalize the emotional background. In addition, the lack of this substance can provoke a rash on the skin.

Manganese is essential for normal bone formation. In addition, he is involved in the synthesis of thyroxine - thyroid hormone, and also helps to establish the work of the digestive system.

Finally, iodine is an element without which the human body simply cannot exist. It stimulates brain activity, contributes to the development of stress resistance, increases the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels. It also helps to maintain normal weight, taking part in energy exchange.

Other beneficial substances
Alimentary fiber0.8 g
Saturated fatty acids0.02 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids0.02 g
Oleic acid2 mg
Linoleic acid4 mg
Alpha linolenic acid7 mg
Arachidonic acid1 mg

Cellulose, which is present in the composition of the algae, works like a sponge, absorbing toxins and toxic substances, after which they are naturally excreted from the body.

Saturated fatty acids - compounds that participate in the thermoregulation of the body, are one of the components of energy exchange, promote the absorption of proteins.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids - substances that are not synthesized by our body, and, therefore, must come from the outside in sufficient quantities.

They increase the body's resistance to bacteria and viruses, reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerotic plaques, work as an anti-inflammatory agent, prevent the development of diseases of the joints.

Oleic acid acts as a prophylactic agent that prevents cholesterol deposits in the vessels. In addition, it prevents the occurrence of cancer, in particular, blocks one of the genes of breast cancer.

Linoleic acid is considered a kind of "magic wand" that helps once and for all get rid of extra pounds. It effectively "accelerates" the metabolism, helps build muscle. Alpha-linolenic acid has similar properties. Also, as evidenced by the results of recent studies, it halves the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Arachidonic acid effectively prevents the development of arthritis and rickets, activates the regeneration of muscle tissue, helps reduce muscle pain caused by physical exertion. She is also responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins - substances that are involved in protein metabolism.

Useful properties of the product

The beneficial properties of sea grapes are due to the vitamins and minerals that are present in its chemical composition. So, alga umi budo:

  1. It is an excellent antioxidant, promotes cell regeneration.
  2. Stimulates the thyroid gland, preventing the development of hypothyroidism and nodular goiter.
  3. It has antifungal and bactericidal action and acts as a kind of natural antibiotic. Moreover, it is the sea grapes that the Japanese eat en masse during influenza epidemics.
  4. Recommended as a preventive measure to prevent the development of cancer.
  5. It can be used in cosmetology for the preparation of masks, creams and applications, as it perfectly moisturizes the skin, restoring its freshness, healthy appearance and elasticity.

Harm and contraindications

Despite the wide range of useful properties, this delicacy has contraindications. So are cases of individual intolerance, which is manifested by numbness of the tongue and limbs, dizziness, loss of the ability to navigate in space.

In addition, caution should be used when budo diseases of the digestive tract: gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, problems with the liver and biliary tract.

Features of use in cooking

When choosing sea grapes pay attention to the condition of the "berries". They must be firm and elastic. If the "grapes" do not spring under the fingers, it means the alga is not too fresh.

Before serving, put the seaweed on the table, put it in a spacious pot with cold water and leave for a quarter of an hour. During this period of time, the dirt and sand present on the surface will settle to the bottom of the dish. After that, thoroughly rinse the delicacy under cold running water and send it in the refrigerator for five to ten minutes.

There are several ways to use budi in cooking. You can simply serve it on the table in a “natural” form, lightly sprinkled with lime juice or a weak solution of apple cider vinegar.

In addition, sea grapes can be one of the ingredients in a vegetable salad or seafood.

Gourmets note that the taste of algae "revealed" completely in combination with soy sauce and a variety of spicy seasonings. Please note that mayonnaise combined with umi budo is better not to use, it completely distorts the original taste of this unusual delicacy. Experienced chefs recommend serving sea grapes with pesto sauce based on olive oil, with the addition of salt and chopped walnuts.

Cooking umi budo in Korean

To prepare this dish, you will need the following ingredients: 450 g of sea grapes, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, two medium-sized onions, two cloves of garlic, 250 g of Korean-style carrots, soy sauce, salt, black pepper and herbs to taste.

Boil the kelp for twenty minutes in water with the addition of apple cider vinegar. After that, cut the twigs into "noodles" three centimeters long.

Cut the bulbs into rings, squeeze the garlic and fry the mixture in vegetable oil. After that, add all other ingredients to the onion and pass for five minutes.

Cooking salad with umi budo and seafood

You will need: 300 grams of cabbage, 200 grams of any seafood of your choice, two tomatoes of medium size, 200 grams of sea grapes, lettuce leaves, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Tear the lettuce leaves and mix them with chopped cabbage. Cut seafood into small cubes. Put lettuce, cabbage and seafood in a bowl and add sea grapes and tomatoes. As a dressing, use soy sauce.